Both EMI and MP3tunes are claiming victory in a court case brought on by the former against the latter over claims that MP3tunes ran afoul of copyright law by failing to remove illegally obtained songs from its storage lockers. A federal judge in New York partially agreed with EMI and found MP3tunes liable for infringing on roughly 350 songs, which is 99 percent less than EMI claimed the service was responsible for, but there's another reason why MP3tunes came out ahead.
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) isn't finished making an example of Jammie Thomas-Rasset, the 34-year-old Native American mother of four from Minnesota who was found guilty in 2007 of illegally sharing 24 songs via peer-to-peer. Attorneys representing the RIAA have filed an appeal against last month's decision by Judge Michael Davis to knock the fines down to $54,000.
Think the whole RIAA/MPAA lawsuit factory is ridiculous? You should see what what Righthaven's pulling in the newspaper world. The company's entire purpose is to sue the pants off of small-time bloggers, websites and forum members who post newspaper clips and articles online. They target itty-bitty operations who probably can't afford litigation and strong arm them into ponying up $2,000 to $5,000 settlements instead. Well, that M.O. backfired recently; a Righthaven case was tossed out of court and they were ordered to pay $34,000 in legal fees to the defendant – but you should hear the shenanigans they tried to pull to get out of paying.
We all make stupid decisions when we're young (and sometimes when we're older), like throwing away that baseball card collection or inadvertently dropping an F-bomb in front of the folks a la A Christmas Story. Some bad decisions are worse than others, such as Rolando S. a California teen deemed a juvenile delinquent after hacking someone's Facebook account only to be charged with identity theft.
Sanford Wallace, the man who calls himself the Spam King, surrendered himself to the FBI on Thursday during a trip to Las Vegas. Now he'll face the throne of justice for being (allegedly, of course) a general pain in the backside of email users everywhere, and in particular to Facebook, in which he already owes $711 million in civil damages from a suit dating back to 2009.
Spotify, About.me, and over two dozen other websites got caught with their hands in KISSmetric's cookie jar and will have to defend themselves against a class action lawsuit filed by parties in Northern California. The class action suit accuses KISSmetric of mischievous monkey business in the way it continues to track Internet users even after they've deleted cookies and cleared their browser's cache, which you can read more about here.
Remember when we told you that British police had rounded up the man they believed was Topiary, the smart-mouthed wise cracker who served as the spokesman for the infamous LulzSec hacking group? Since then, rumors saying that they got the wrong guy have been floating around the Internet. Was the man in custody a dupe framed by the actual Topiary? British police don't think so, and the stuff they found on the Jake Davis' laptop seems pretty damning. But he's still out on bail.
According to the Supreme Court, videogames qualify for First Amendment protection, and California's attempt to enact a law restricting the sale of violent videogames to minors was ruled unconstitutional. The 7-2 decision came in the case of Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association, and to rub salt in the wound, the ESA is now seeking $1.1 million in attorney's fees from the state of California, Arstechnica reports.
U.S. District Judge William Alsup is none too pleased with Google and Oracle, giving both companies 'what for' and accusing them of being unreasonable in a recent hearing over a dispute related to Oracle's Java patents. Oracle tried claiming Google owes it upwards of $6 billion, while Google maintains a nickel would be five cents too much. Both claims managed to push Alsup's buttons.
Jammie Thomas-Rasset, the woman who made numerous headlines for taking on the RIAA in a losing battle over file sharing, may want to heed the advice of Kenny Rogers. Among his more notable lyrics, Kenny Rogers sang "You got to know when to hold 'em, known when to fold 'em, know when to walk away, and know when to run." Now that a federal judge has again lowered Thomas-Rasset's verdict, this time from $1.5 million to $54,000, it might be time to run.